Friday Morning Manna March 15, 2019
Meanderings through the Mysteries of Life, Time and Death
The value of time is beyond computation. . . . The human family have scarcely begun to live when they begin to die.
– E. G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 342.
Neither science nor philosophy can explain the mystery of life. For it is “through faith that we understand that the worlds were framed by the wordof God, so that things which are seen are not made of things which are visible.” Hebrews 1: 2; 11: 3.
Life is associated with light. The life of God is the life of man. The beloved disciple wrote concerning Christ, saying, ‘In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” John 1: 4. If we have no light from the Sun of Righteousness [Malachi 4:2] we have no life in Him. . . . Humanity has in itself no light. Apart from Christ, we are like an unkindled taper, like the moon when her face is turned away from the sun; we have not a single ray of brightness to shed into the darkness of the world. But when we turn toward the Sun of Righteousness, when we come in touch with Christ, the whole soul is aglow with the brightness of His divine presence [through the indwelling and infilling of the Holy Spirit].”– Ibid, Sons & Daughters, p. 281.
Without life there is no time. It is absolute nothingness and total silence. It is the darkest shade possible of dark, like it was before planet earth, where we currently “live and move and have our being,” came into being. It then turned blue when seen from space by the human eye.
Time: before life, after life, and after the fall
The divine record says before the creation of our world, accomplished in six literal days the space-void in which planet Earth would occupy and become earth itself was then “without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” That’s human-divine language describing for the human mind what void, nothing and not a thing means. It’s the only way man can hope to grasp by simple faith the divine mystery of how anything can be created from nothing–for in human reasoning and wisdom, there is no total void. In philosophy void is a concept of nothingness manifested. In astronomy “cosmic voids are vast spaces between filaments (the largest scale structures in the universe), which contain very few or no galaxies.”
The Life giver, Time keeper, and First Cause created the first division of time, calling it day, made up first, of the dark part called evening followed by the light part, called morning–after first creating and/or manifesting light that broke through and filled the void of the darkness of the deep. He created and/or formed, not with divine hands but by divine fiat–not a square, oblong, pyramid-shaped, or flat, but a beautiful orb planet—and caused it to spin around its invisible, rather than imaginary axis at a measured speed that facilitated a precise division and visible distinction between night and day, morning and evening, light and darkness, and set it so. Thus, light did not come or proceed from darkness nor darkness come from light, though darkness or evening first preceded light or morning, and has ever kept that sequence.
These simplest and most fundamental of things clearly illustrate and define the grand dynamics and nature of the great controversy between Christ, the Creator and Life giver and Satan, the “father of lies and murderer from the beginning;” the irreconcilable differences and enmity between truth and error, righteousness and unrighteousness, spiritual and carnal, genuine and counterfeit, eternal life and eternal death; the difference between the mystery of godliness and the mystery of iniquity. In the spiritual eternal realm, there is no twilight zone although in the literal world, there is that dawning darkness before sunrise and the waning lights of sunset before nighttime, in earth’s days. But both are transitional, not permanent. You don’t say “good evening” when it is daytime or “good morning” when it is nighttime. But in the space of “spiritual wickedness in high places” that’s the perverted, reversed norm. “Evil is called good, and good evil,” etc.
This first division of time called day, measured out by the Lifegiver, was under His direct control yet unassigned to any other, from the first to the fourth day. In this embryonic stage, life on earth was yet non-existent or unmanifested, until the third day. Then the first perfect lower life forms instantly sprung into being as spoken into existence. These were the dainty and majestic creatures that cleaved the air with their wings, and those sea-creatures that cleaved the waters with their fins and multiplied thence “according to their kind.”
At this junction of the creative process, the form of time, a day, as the first of the rest of divisions of time that would follow after—weeks, months, and years—came before those particular first perfect forms of life came into being. Thus far, this particular time came before life. To be clear, “All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fish, another of birds.” 1 Cor 15: 39. While all are flesh-and blood creatures, made from the yet-uncorrupted dust of the ground, not from spirit, these are not of the same class of living creatures. There is no such thing as “half fish-half men” (Dagon, the heathen Philistines’ fish god), “half-man half-beast” gargoyles, etc. Heathenism first taught it, Evolution “refined” it and modern-day Spiritualism mingled them. Therein resides confusion and death but not in creation, where harmony and life rule the day.
But on the fourth day, time took on an added meaning to its basic time division function and reckoning. By fiat the Time keeper created two lights—in distinction to the mysterious “light” that first came into being or manifested itself in the creation of the first day. These two later lights He called the greater light and the lesser light—only insofar as its functions in service to the earth and its dwellers are concerned. Modern science and astronomy are still discovering with awe that those “twinkling little stars” to starry-eyed and star-struck poets and composers are in fact suns many times bigger than our sun, etc. He declared the functions of our own “greater and lesser lights to “divide the day from the night; for signs and seasons, for days and years, the greater light to rule the day, and lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also [not to rule in anyway]. He set them in the firmament of the heavens [starry, second heavens] to give light on the earth on the earth and rule over the day and night, and to divide the light from darkness.” Gen. 1: 14-19.
We see here the very first form of delegation of duties and allocation of specific functions to two inanimate while all the time He remained the unchanging source and in full control. Henceforth, He declared that the inanimate sun would “rule the day” and the inanimate moon would “rule the night.”
Furthermore, that both created inanimate “rulers” were to serve at His pleasure as secondary regulators of “times and seasons” and would function visibly for “signs and wonders”– to speak of, magnify, and reflect back all these wonders to the wonderful Creator.
Apostle Paul says of Christ “All things were created through (by) Him and for Him.” Col. 1: 16. Pay close attention to “for.” It says much more than “by” and/or “through.” That He created all things is stock knowledge; but for Himself? is an awesome mystery revealed. He owns all and everything, inanimate or animate, seen or invisible by creation and by possession. And in the plan of salvation Christ owns us twice, by creation and redemption both operating under the rule of free-moral agency. Such is the mystery of godliness.
Because life created thus far on the third day was simply life in living creatures with no component of or even a suggestion of death, this life in these creatures was not subject to time in the sense of a beginning and an end, only that they came into being with life.
On the fifth day different perfect living creatures were added, adding to the abundance of life and beauty on earth. It was the penultimate time and stage of creation. All things were perfect but not yet completed.
Then came the sixth day of creation—the day, the appointed time and space in God’s universe where His crowning act, glory, and power would be fully concentrated on, unfolding in its greatest splendor and going into full display to the Godhead itself, the angels, and all unfallen beings in the heavenly universe.
In the simplest scheme of things, life is more important than time, life being fundamental, time, dependent. Yet infinitely more important than these seminal elements, are its source. Without the Fountainhead of all things no streams of life and time can flow out to wherever and whomsoever the Omniscience decides will receive it. He is The Fountainhead of all fountainheads even as He is the God of gods, King of kings, and Lord of lords.
But even if there is life, determined by medical science in brain wave patterns, yet if one does not have the mind and the senses to know and feel—places one in that terrifying twilight zone where no one on the outside absolutely knows whether the patient can somehow still hear and think, though unable to physically manifest these. The patient unwillingly enters that dark, unknown space of the mystery of life. Is he alive or dead? Dare anyone decide?
But another mystery on the dark side is that the ones on the unmerited receiving end of the Life Giver bountiful largesse, deny His power, presumptuously declaring that the life He gave and the time that came with it are no longer His. Once imparted He lost ownership and control for now it perpetuates itself eternally in whatsoever way it chooses. How this takes place is thickly shrouded with dissonant patterns and layers of mysticism, superstitious beliefs, religious dogma, “science falsely so-called,” fables and folk-lore. Its recipient is alleged to retain it in an immortal form either instantly at death or over the many cycles of reincarnation. In short, it is undead, incapable of being destroyed or diminished in any way or fashion. Such are the dark products of the mystery of iniquity.
We don’t accord essential time its invaluable value by not living it aright. How often have our actions spoken louder than words like it isn’t worth or acceptable to miss out on the perks of the temporal life, and denying to “occupy” our time acquiring earthly fame and fortune. Reinvesting and redirecting the same time, effort, faculties, planning and preparation for the conditionally-promised eternal life is acknowledged as a heroic and even saintly and sublime idea or a doctrine. But that’s where it begins and ends. It is not made a way of life. But “having” and flaunting a “mere form of godliness” is, in fact, its very denial.
Negligent carelessness is not the same as the care-fee life of shared burdens with the divine Burden-bearer. We barter away the lives loaned to us with its entrusted time and talent management responsibilities—not as franchise-owners but as accountable trustees—over everything that are guaranteed to fades with time and crumble to historical ashes and dust. So that by the time we think we finally “made it” (or by the flattering opinions of those similarly afflicted with such conflicted values and views) we’ve already “had it.” Left with nothing but the left-overs of time and life, it dawns upon us that, indeed life was too short and precious to have been handled that way and trifled away. The wishing-on-a-star denial stage kicks in: If only some out-of-this-world seminal discovery could somehow rewind the past, we would do things so radically different to be the very exact opposite of what got us to this point.
It is at this lowest ebb tide of life—which does not have to be of quantity, which is physical and temporal but of quality, which is spiritual and eternal, thus relative, yet palpably real in the here and now—that one enters the final mortal sphere where rules the final dichotomy underwriting choice and consequence, namely, hyper vulnerability or super receptivity.It is these extreme moments of combined numbness and insupportable pain when one is thrust and trussed-up to the farthest end of the emotional and rational spectrum that are, in fact, the soul’s last fork-in-the road in his life saga of making countless one-or-the-other choices that are now unalterable life records.
This is the Nowhere to Go but Up Terminus. The only alternative is an untimely death and oblivion. Cherish this then: as long as mysterious life, a rational mind, a heart of flesh, not stone, exists, there is yet hope for life eternal. Any rational person can see that no one with a clear mind will squander away this final opportunity. But the heart-breaking mystery is that countless will, till probation closes and life and time on this earth exists no more. The only screaming question left is WHY? The answer from the very beginning of life and time is: man was created and wired to be a free moral agent from here to eternity. Consistent to this, in the true gospel, salvation is individual. Next question, please. (Continued next week)